These photos were taken Friday evening at the Strand Brewing Company tasting room in Torrance, where friends, fans, family, and former co-workers gathered to say good-bye and congratulations to long time taproom manager, Jonas Neubauer, who is leaving Strand Brewing after more than seven years to pursue his career as a professional gamer.
In case you were not aware, Jonas happens to be a seven time Classic Tetris World Champion, a title that has only been around since 2010. In other words, he has been the champion seven out of nine times. He came in second place in 2014 and again last year in 2018. Since then, Jonas has not been seen at the taproom very much as his most recent second place finish has made him more popular than ever in the gaming world. As such, Jonas has been able to monetize his Twitch and YouTube channels to the point that it made sense to devote more time to gaming; besides, he has to concentrate on winning back the title of Classic Tetris World Champion.
Good luck Jonas, we will be rooting for you. Cheers! Continue reading
These photos were taken Wednesday evening at Beelman’s in downtown Los Angeles, where they hosted Brooklyn Brewery’s “Bar Talk: Craft Beer, Innovation & The Great Cape Debate with Steve Hindy & Garrett Oliver”; which was then followed up with an after party a couple doors down from Beelman’s at Spring Street Bar. For those unaware, Steve Hindy is the founder of Brooklyn Brewery, and Garrett Oliver has been their brewmaster since joining Brooklyn Brewery in 1994.
The event was to announce the launch of Brooklyn Brewery’s distribution in California, and as Garrett Oliver put it, they go where their beer goes. Apparently this was one of the few times that Hindy and Garrett has shared the stage together but, to this observer, the discussion ran so smoothly you might have thought it was entirely scripted; it was not. Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Select Beer Store in Redondo Beach, where they held their 5th Annual Brewer’s Chili Cook-off. The annual event has been a fundraiser for the last few years; this year the beneficiary was Providence TrinityCare Hospice. I am not sure if they choose different beneficiaries every year or not.
This year, there were nine participating breweries; Bottle Logic, Yorkshire Square, Cellador Ales, Three Weavers, Riip Beer, Burnin’ Daylight, L.A. Ale Works, King Harbor Brewing, and Firestone Walker’s Propagator.
I am not really sure that I have attended any of the prior events, so I know nothing about the prior competitions other than what I overheard and my understanding is that in previous competitions all the chilies were somewhat similar. This year each chili was quite different from the others. Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday evening at the Switzer Learning Center, in Torrance, where they held their 2018 Boots, Brews & BBQ fundraiser. The event featured unlimited pours of craft beer from about six local breweries, wine, and an open bar. They also had tequila flights available for an additional fee. In addition to the libations, there was plenty of barbecued meat available courtesy of Shady Grow Foods, as well Mediterranean food from Chicken Maison for the vegetarians in attendance.
The adult only event also offered tickets to ride a mechanical bull, or to practice your aiming at the shooting range that had rifles or revolvers available. They also had a spin and win booze wheel, gaming tables featuring blackjack, 3-card poker and roulette, and live and silent auctions. Continue reading
The event will begin at noon and run until 11:30 PM, with happy hour pricing from noon until 7:00 PM. From 7:00-10:00, live music will be provided by Ashleigh Correa and Rock the Ashbah. Continue reading
These photos were taken Friday evening at Phantom Carriage Brewery in Carson, where friends and co-workers of Phantom’s co-founder Martin Svab and his girlfriend, Ryan Hughes, gathered to say “until we meet again” to the pair that helped create Phantom Carriage, as Friday was their last official day of handling the day-to-day operations of running the brewpub.
As was announced last week, Martin is relinquishing control of daily operations while retaining his ownership in Phantom Carriage; he will act as a consultant during the transition period.
While Martin and Ryan may be departing from Phantom Carriage, they are not leaving the local craft beer scene, as they plan on continuing putting on events like Festival Obscura, a fundraiser that they put on back in July for Sunnyside Cemetery. Their immediate plans also include owning a bottle shop in Long Beach. Continue reading
These photos were taken Friday afternoon at Smog City Brewing in Torrance, where they held a fundraiser for the family of their Retail Director, Jason Briseño. A couple weeks ago, the family home of more than 30 years was destroyed by a quick moving fire that had started within the walls of the house. With no time to remove items from the house, the Briseños lost virtually everything they owned.
All day Friday, $3.00 from every pint sold went to the fund to help the family rebuild. While I was there, some great homemade cookies were made available for $1.00 each, which also went to the fund. As a side note, those cookies paired amazingly well with Smog City’s Infinite Wishes.
While there, I overheard a conversation between a Smog City regular and Smog City co-founder Laurie Porter. The regular had thanked Laurie and Smog City for putting the event together; Laurie’s response was pretty simple, “Jason is family.” Continue reading
The first time I put on this event, in 2015, it consisted of 40 taps from 10 of the South Bay’s best craft breweries. This year we have 19 breweries currently confirmed as attending; the number of taps we will have has yet to be determined, but Tortilla Cantina’s owner Rick Gomez informed me that he has the ability to provide up to 50 taps, so we shall see.
The breweries scheduled to attend, in alphabetical order, are Absolution Brewing, Brouwerij West, Common Space, El Segundo Brewing, Hermosa Brewing Company, HopSaint, King Harbor Brewing, LA Ale Works, Phantom Carriage, Scholb, Smog City, State Brewing, Strand Brewing, The Dudes’, The Honest Abe Cidery, Three Weavers, Ximix, Yorkshire Square, and Zymurgy Brew Works. Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday evening at South Bay Customs in El Segundo, where Travis Lavoie celebrated his 40th birthday, and his friend Josh Linden celebrated his 35th birthday. The birthday party was attended by close to 100 of their friends and family, and featured live music by local band, Pork Chop Express who provided the music for my first experience of live punk/rock karaoke.
Anyone that has been a long-time fan of El Segundo Brewing, and has visited their tasting room, probably either knows, or at least has met Travis. I think I met him there about six years ago when I first started going to El Segundo Brewing. Josh is another local El Segundo guy that I just met last night, but apparently went to El Segundo High the same time my kids did. The party had the feel that the attendees were long time friends, so most of them probably grew up in El Segundo; it was a fun group. Continue reading
I have to admit, becoming “The Craft Beer Guy” has certainly opened up many doors for me, including special events; and I get to meet a lot of interesting people, some of which I have developed friendships with. One of these people is Jonathan Urch, and these photos are from his 40th birthday celebration which began at Firestone Walker’s Propagator and ended down the street at Scopa Italian Roots, where Jon, his wife, and about 25 friends from around the world gathered to celebrate Jon’s 40th time of successfully navigating around the sun with a nice dinner.
I met Jon in October of 2015 at the Guinness Nitro IPA Advanced Tasting and dinner at The Larchmont in Hollywood. At the time, Jon was Diageo Customer Marketing Director. That evening was special in a couple ways; I was able to meet Jon and I was given the first Guinness Nitro IPA ever poured from a tap in the United States. As I have always been a Guinness fan, that was kind of a big deal to me. Continue reading